Brice Armstrong, the voice actor and narrator of “Dragon Ball Z,” has died. Armstrong’s death came seven days after his 84th birthday.
Armstrong is survived by his six children, daughter Robin Armstrong, Sons Joshua Armstrong and wife Marianne, Joseph Armstrong, Paul Armstrong and wife Rebecca; Matthew Armstrong and wife Emily; Anthony Armstrong and wife Nha. Armstrong was preceded in death by his wife, Marianna Ash-Armstrong, who sadly died in 2008. Armstrong passed away on January 10.
The news of Armstrong’s sad passing was announced by his representatives at the Mary Collins Agency on January 19. A statement from the group read in part, “Although many of you might not know Brice’s work, as he retired in 2009, many more of you knew Brice as an exceedingly talented voice actor, and a very sweet, funny guy.” The statement added that Armstrong passed away at his home due to natural causes.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Armstrong Was a Member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame
Armstrong was a native of Dallas, Texas. Following his retirement in 2009, the voices that Armstrong portrayed were recast. Among Armstrong’s credits, in addition to “Dragon Ball Z,” he voiced characters on “Barney & Friends,” where he did the voice of Miss Etta Kette, “Samurai 7” and “Case Closed,” according to his IMDb page.
Thanks to his announcing on Texas radio over the years, Armstrong was celebrated in 2004 with an induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
2. James Earl Jones Once Told Armstrong, ‘I Wish I Had Your Voice Control’
According to Collins’ statement, James Earl Jones once told Armstrong, “I wish I had your voice control.” The tribute statement added that Armstrong was camera shy and was reluctant to take photos. Although behind the microphone, Armstrong was known for his impressions of Hollywood icons such as a Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne.
3. One of Armstrong’s Colleagues Called Him ‘The Kindest, Funniest Person I’ve Ever Known’
The agency includes a quote from fellow voice actor, Christopher Sabat who said, “Brice was the kindest, funniest person I’ve ever known. He was always humble, never in a bad mood–not the attitude you’d expect from such an industry legend.” Another voice actor, Ric Spiegel, said, “I like to think Brice is sitting on a stool in the big recording booth in the sky, leaning forward into the mic and announcing, ‘Sally Forth!’ No second take needed.” Commenting on the statement, Armstrong’s daughter, MaryAnne Armstrong, “A girl couldn’t ask for a kinder, sweeter, funnier Father in Law than Brice. Love you Dad.”
A fundraiser has been set up which asks fans to donate to one of Armstrong’s favorite charities, Heifer International, a group that fights hunger and poverty.
4. Armstrong Was Replaced by R. Bruce Elliot on ‘Dragon Ball Z’
Brice Armstrong’s work on “Dragon Ball Z” was legendary. He voiced on the English-dubbed version of the show as well as on “Dragon Ball GT” and on video game versions of the show. In addition to serving as the show’s narrator, Armstrong voiced Captain Ginyu. Armstrong replaced Dale D. Kelly in 2001 on “Dragon Ball Z” for the show’s second season. Kelly had left Funimation for “unknown reasons.” Armstrong was replaced in the franchise by R. Bruce Elliot.
Armstrong can also be heard as the voice of Lord Slug on “Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug,” Igari on “Baki the Grappler,” and as Douglas on “Lupin III: Farewell to Nostradamus.” Armstrong also did the voice of Richard Keller for the cut Mission 9 on “Half-Life: Decay.”
5. Armstrong’s Passing Is Being Mourned by the ‘Dragon Ball Z’ Community
As news of Armstrong’s sad passing began to spread among the “Dragon Ball Z” community, fans have taken to Twitter to express their grief. Here are some of the most poignant messages of remembrance: